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Home Craft How to Disable Read or Write Access for Your Removable Storage Devices on Windows

How to Disable Read or Write Access for Your Removable Storage Devices on Windows

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You’ve got multiple removable storage devices that contain sensitive files, but now you want to prevent others from making changes to those files. However, you don’t know where to start.


Fortunately, there are ways to stop people from spying on your removable storage devices. We’ll show you the various ways to disable read or write access for your storage devices on Windows.


How to Disable Read Access on Removable Storage Devices

Read access allows other users to view your files but prevents them from making any edits. Now, let’s explore how to disable read access on your removable storage devices.

Using the Local Group Policy Editor

The Local Group Policy Editor (LGPE) can help you disable read access on your storage devices. In fact, this tool also makes it easy for you to prevent others from pinning apps to the taskbar.

Here’s how to disable read access on your storage devices using the LGPE:

  1. Type Edit group policy in the Start menu search bar.
  2. Right-click on the Best match result and select Run as administrator.
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access.
  4. Locate the Removable Disks: Deny read access option on the right-hand side.

To disable read access, double-click on the Removable Disks: Deny read access option and select Enabled. Otherwise, select either Disabled or Not Configured to enable read access. Finally, press Apply and then press OK to save these changes.

You can also apply the same settings for the CD and DVD, Custom Classes, Floppy Drives, Tape Drives, and WPD Devices options in the LGPE.

Using the Registry Editor

The Registry Editor can also help disable read access on your removable storage devices. But before you get started, consider backing up the Registry. That way, you’ll be on the safe side in case you tweak or delete sensitive Registry keys.

Here’s how to disable read access on storage devices using the Registry Editor:

  1. Type Registry Editor in the Start menu search bar.
  2. Right-click on the Best match result and select Run as administrator.
  3. Next, copy-paste the following command into the address bar and press Enter:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindows

From there, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Windows key.
  2. Select New > Key, and then name the key as RemovableStorageDevices.
  3. Right-click on the RemovableStorageDevices key and select New > Key. Name this key as {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}.
  4. Right-click on the right-hand side and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  5. Name the value as Deny_Read.

To disable read access, double-click on the Deny_Read value and set the Value data as 1. Otherwise, set the Value data as 0 to enable read access on your storage devices.

You can also apply the changes to the CD and DVD, Custom Classes, Floppy Drives, Tape Drives, and WPD Devices options. However, you might have to create different file paths for various storage devices.

In this article, we’ll show you how to make changes to the WPD Devices options. Simply put, the WPD Devices refer to Windows portable devices (such as cell phones and other media players).

Here’s how to disable read access on the WPD Devices using the Registry Editor:

  1. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the RemovableStorageDevices key by applying the previous methods.
  2. Right-click on the RemovableStorageDevices option and select New > Key. Next, name the key as {6AC27878-A6FA-4155-BA85-F98F491D4F33}.
  3. Right-click on the right-hand side, select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value, and then name the value as Deny_Read.
  4. To disable read access on WPD Devices, double-click on the Deny_Read value and set the Value data as 1. Alternatively, set the Value data as 0 to enable read access.

How to Disable Write Access on Removable Storage Devices

Write access allows other users to view and edit your files. Now, let’s check out how to disable write access on your removable storage devices.

Using the Local Group Policy Editor

Here’s how to use the Local Group Policy Editor to disable write access on your removable storage devices:

  1. Type Edit group policy in the Start menu search bar.
  2. Right-click on the Best match result and select Run as administrator.
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access.
  4. Locate the Removable Disks: Deny write access option on the right-hand side. To disable write access, double-click on this option and then select Enabled. Alternatively, select Disabled or Not Configured to enable write access.

Press Apply and then press OK to save these changes.

From there, apply the same changes to the CD and DVD, Custom Classes, Floppy Drives, Tape Drives, and WPD Devices options.

Using the Registry Editor

Here’s how to disable write access using the Registry Editor:

  1. Type Registry Editor in the Start menu search bar.
  2. Right-click on the Best match result and select Run as administrator.
  3. Next, copy-paste the following command into the address bar and press Enter:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindows

From there, click the RemovableStorageDevices key, followed by the {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b} key.

If these keys are missing, right-click on the Windows key, select New > Key, and then name the key as RemovableStorageDevices. Next, right-click on the RemovableStorageDevices key and select New > Key. Name this key as {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}.

From there, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the right-hand side and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  2. Name the value as Deny_Write.

To disable write access, double-click on the Deny_Write value and set the Value data as 1. Otherwise, set the Value data as 0 to enable write access on your storage devices.

Meanwhile, here’s how to disable read access on the WPD Devices option:

  1. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the RemovableStorageDevices key by applying the previous methods.
  2. Next, open the {6AC27878-A6FA-4155-BA85-F98F491D4F33} key. If it’s missing, right-click on the RemovableStorageDevices option, select New > Key, and name the key as {6AC27878-A6FA-4155-BA85-F98F491D4F33}.
  3. Right-click on a blank space on the right, select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value, and then name the value as Deny_Write.
  4. To disable write access on WPD Devices, double-click on the Deny_Write value and set the Value data as 1. Alternatively, set the Value data as 0 to enable write access.

How to Disable Read and Write Access on All Your Removable Storage Devices

Now, what if you want to simultaneously disable read and write access for all your devices? Let’s show you how to do that.

Using the Local Group Policy Editor

Here’s how to simultaneously disable read and write access for all your removable storage devices:

  1. Type Edit group policy in the Start menu search bar.
  2. Right-click on the Best match result and select Run as administrator.
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access.
  4. Locate the All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access option on the right. To deny read and write access for your storage devices, double-click on this option and select Enabled. Otherwise, select either Disabled or Not Configured to allow read and write access.

Press Apply and then press OK to save these changes.

Using the Registry Editor

Here’s how the Registry Editor can help you simultaneously disable read and write access for all your storage devices:

  1. Type Registry Editor in the Start menu search bar.
  2. Right-click on the Best match result and select Run as administrator.
  3. Next, copy-paste the following command into the address bar and press Enter:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsRemovableStorageDevices

From there, double-click on a blank space on the right and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Next, name the new value as Deny_All.

To disable read and write access, double-click on the Deny_All value and set the Value data as 1. Alternatively, set the Value data as 0 to enable read and write access on all your removable storage devices.

No One Will Tamper With the Files on Your Removable Storage Devices Again

By default, other users should be able to edit the files contained on your removable storage devices. But if you apply the methods we’ve covered, no one will tamper with your files anymore.

To add an extra layer of security, you might consider protecting your storage devices with Windows’ BitLocker To Go feature.



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